TRIGGER WARNING: CONTENT PERTAINS TO DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE

Little demons bounce around in
your skull, screaming obscenities
and those same old revelations.
All the while, the strange sounds of
"you're fine," "you're nice," "you're not that bad,"
"you’re not evil,” gets replayed out
of their mouths again. As if they
know your sins. That never-ending
winter you are freezing in. If
only they knew, but you’ll never
tell them. You'd die first. And more and
more that looks like the optimal
choice. Your demise a voice for this
injustice, finally putting
down that mad dog robbing all of
them of a peaceful existence.
Why should such a savage exist?
So you can spread your disgusting
penitence with warm and oh so
bold and colorful poetics?
Why not just end it? Instead you
feed it like the coward you are,
the typical evil piece of
**** that rips up hearts and leaves them
to the wolves. And no one knows, and
no one will care, if you are not
the same as you were back then. This
redemption is an illusion
you fool around with to cool your
intemperance, as useless as
your pathetic attempts at some
rehabilitation, and if
you were honest you'd accept that
your suffering is warranted.
So go meet your end, you *******
sick depressing ****, before you
get selfish again and ruin
another beautiful person.
Please make sure you're in a stable position to read this poem, and if you're not in a stable position to read it, don't do the ****** stuff I do and instead call that number that Logic taught you: 1-800-273-8255.

(And please excuse any humor or lightness that I might express about this topic, now or in the future. I'm very, very intimate with it, and by my own experience and what I know of others is that, the closer and deeper you're in it personally the more humor you can both find in it and need from it. Though to each their own.)

Also, I didn't know this as I wrote the poem, but October is National Depression Month, and, in particular, today, October 11th, is National Depression Screening Day. Do yourself a favor and get checked out, especially if you can relate to my writing or share any of the more typical symptoms.
There’s a horse on a field,
grazing upon grass as the wind plays its favorite tune,
a mountain song,
trickling down upon the eastern flat plains of Colorado.
Her head hung low in soft serenity,
this black mare stares upwards towards a blue purple red sky.
She asks not why or what,
but is simply aware of the natural.
Enjoying her meal,
this black mare alone on her favorite field,
concealed by a white fence,
one more day coming to an end,
turns to her stable,
ready to return.
The sky turns a dark blue.
A September shiver rattles her old craggy bones,
but the stable shelters her from further pain.
Time to rest,
and tomorrow all the same.
A nice, little observation
Took a chance today, and dipped my toe into a
place I never dare to go. I failed. I had hoped
that that would be a nice, happy ending, seeming
tragic yet blessed with the lessons of backbone and
persistence. It’s not. It can never be. Because
I will never let it. All it is is just some
more ammunition for my machine gun head, to
tear me to shreds. Because no matter how much the
intellectual can spot the good ol’ practice-
makes-perfect motif (the idea that because
I at least tried I have made my mark in the right
direction, the clichéd, mythologized concept
that somehow I’m closer to the end of this ****),
my ****** up brain has been meticulously trained
to remind me: I failed, because I fail. I fail.
And every failure is another nail in my
coffin. A coffin that deserves a shallow grave.
Giggles from the child as water
runs down her back, matching
the swinging wind chimes just outside
the wide-open window. Her mother
smiles, her shirtsleeves rolled up and
yet wet and covered in tiny bubbles.
The white tile around them glistens
in the sunlight pouring in, and I,
the grinning dad who just got home,
stand in the doorway, softened clay.
My wife, my beautiful wife,
looks up at me and says “Hey honey,”
and runs another small jug of bathwater
over my baby’s soft head of hair.
The little one trickles out “Hi Daaaaddy,”
and giggles again, as her mother scrubs
her little back and shoulders. Seeing this
scene in front of me, my eyes water
slightly. I pull it back in; after all
these years it’s still difficult for me to
simply be joyous. Nonetheless, there is
an ache in my heart, the ache one feels
when they first fall in love, and I am standing
here falling all over again. I roll up my sleeves
and drop to my knees, and give my wife
and my sweetie the biggest pecks I can muster,
and clean her delicate little arms. The mother
pours another jug, and once again, this little
darling angel, like wind chimes swinging outside,
giggles.
I’ve seen too many faces,
been to too many places.
And now, I wonder what I really know.
But I embraced it. I faced it.
But it’s getting real old,
and I don’t like how cold it’s getting.
The shadows are cast on everything and
the cold breeze is turning into a wind.
Dirt in my eyes, can’t see ****.
Where have you been?
Where did you go? I got lonely
here all on my own.
Fits of rage drove you away
but I’m becoming more silent,
my violence now just a slight whisper,
tickling the back of my throat just a bit.
Can I kiss you?
Can I hug you again?
Do you trust me?
Can you trust me again?
I wouldn’t, and you shouldn’t.
I’m never going to be the innocent,
the lovely, the pure,
one of the beautiful people.
Though you know what they say,
“Can’t see the forest for the trees.”
So please, don’t leave me so soon.
Get a coffee, get a drink,
let’s think together for a second.
And maybe you’ll need a better
boy who holds your hand
in the roller rink, and chuckles and
helps you up when you trip,
and has a grip on himself when
all of this turns to ****.
That’s not me.
I’m not one of those.
One of those you can believe in,
or that I think you deserve,
you lovely, beautiful being.
I’m the **** and rotten,
Though not easily forgotten,
And though oddly forgiving, I’m forgiving
because I know what it is to be guilty,
wilting people’s leaves before
they’ve even had a chance to breathe.
Left behind a trail of mud,
and in my blood there’s dirt and rust
and lumps the size of walnuts
from all the drugs I have to eat
to get and stay asleep.
But I’m weeping less and less,
and my remorse and shame might be a blessing.
I’ve learned the best thing to do
is open up and live through what
someone like me can do
and change my ways from what I’ve done,
before I can inject more and more pain.
And though I’ve got a long way to go,
and I’m still a coward about it,
at some point I’ll apologize, say sorry for it.
For all the lies and bearing
and lack of caring that was
apparent in almost everything.
But ALMOST everything, because there was a genuine,
generous and loving person somewhere
beneath all of it, who wasn’t
going to try to hurt you,
or destroy you. I didn’t try to.
And I know you remember that loving one,
and you wonder why
he couldn’t stick around long enough
before wandering off into the desert or something,
and getting lost. So,
tell me your soul.
I’ll listen, and you know me,
I’ll make fun of it, but I won’t judge it.
You think you’re toxic? I’m full of it.
I’ve been and seen
all of it. Lived it, felt it, gave it.
Your shadows? I can see past them.
Your coldness? I’ve got a built-in blanket.
And I want to feel you
when the dirt blinds me,
when I can’t see **** and you reach out
and your warmth keeps me grounded.
At least for just a little bit.
Promises you never keep,
Dancing in the dark we are
Redeeming what you lost,
Tossed deep into our savage sea.
Outside the sounds of
gunfire are ringing through
the night. This is wartime,
and my partner just stepped
on a landmine that blew
him to bits. I had shifted
just out of reach of the
blast, and only caught some
hot shrapnel in my arm. A
bar, still intact, sat next
to the blast site, so I ran
inside as bullets poured down
from the enemy’s higher ground.
A plane overhead dropped
a few bombs down onto their
heads, and their building crumbled
apart into a heap of rubble.
Dust kicked up and swallowed up
the street, swallowing sandbags
and grenade craters and dead bodies.
Some of it seeps into the bar
through the bullet holes in the walls
and windows. I scuttle over to the
bar, throw my rifle on it and
fall to the ground, slamming back
against it. I flip my pack around,
adjusting myself, and pull out
a canteen of water and a can with
some much needed carbohydrates
and protein in it. Pulling my knife out
of its sheaf, I sink it into the top
of the can, and I twist and turn
the blade until the top bends over,
and scoop the food up
with my ***** fingers. The water
tastes good, the minerals swirling
around as I swish it in my mouth.
I finish my little meal, throw the
can down, and stand up and
walk around behind the bar.
An old bottle of whiskey sits
on the dusty shelf. I twist the top
off and take a large swig.
It’s rough and cheap and hits
me hard. I take my jacket off,
and unbutton and remove
my shirt. I wipe dirt off a mirror
on the shelf and cover the knife
with whiskey, and look in the mirror
as I sink my knife into the skin
of my arm, twisting and turning until
the shrapnel from the landmine
pops out. My vision almost clouds
up from the pain, but I remain
determined until all the pieces
are removed. I throw some whiskey
on my wounds, grunting, and pull
a bandage from my pack and wrap
my arm with it, nice and tight. I
button up my shirt and throw
my jacket back on, and then
I notice in the mirror someone
sitting on a stool at the bar.
I turn to see a small girl, a child,
staring ahead with dead eyes,
her mouth slightly agape. She’s
covered in dirt, crusted onto
her skin and red hair, and I
can barely tell her dress is
pink through all the gray. She’s
looking at my chest, but I can
tell she’s not really seeing me.
There’s nothing in front of her,
or around her. She hardly moves,
only her shallow breaths making
her back and chest slowly rise and fall.
I look at her, wanting to say
something, but can’t think of
anything right. But I get an idea.
I look beneath the bar and pull out
two glasses. I wipe them out with
a cloth, barely removing any
dust, and place one in front
of her and the other in front of me,
and I grab the whiskey. I pour just
a bit for her, not knowing how much
her little body can take, and I fill
mine nearly to the brim. I lift my
glass up and grin, and she finally
looks up at me. She looks down
at her cup, picks it up, and looks back
at me, and I ****** my glass towards
her. She smiles as she understands,
and we clink our glasses, like her
mother and father must have. I
throw mine back, and have to gasp
and cough, but she sips hers slowly,
only giving a slight sigh once she’s
done. We lock eyes again, and
hers are no longer dead, and she
smiles a lovely smile, as if a stranger
just gave her water in the desert.
Gunfire erupts from a plane above,
slipping some bullets in through
the windows, and I hear a round
ricochet off a table. Blood and
brains coat the bar as her body
is flung from the stool. I close my
eyes. I wish I was in disbelief.
Picking up my pack and my rifle,
I walk around the bar to her.
I move her mangled little body
around until she’s flat on
her back with her arms to
her side. Her eyes are dead
again, and I close them and
cover them with a nickel
and a penny, hoping that’s
enough pay for the ferry. I
move towards the backdoor of
the bar, **** my rifle, and take
a long, slow, deep breath. And
then I kick the door down and
go outside, once more into the
fray. Once more into the war.
Once more into ****.
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